Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

A synthetic surfactant based on a poly-Leu SP-C analog and phospholipids: effects on tidal volumes and lung gas volumes in ventilated immature newborn rabbits

Johansson J, Some M, Linderholm BM, Almlen A, Curstedt T, Robertson B


Available surfactants for treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in newborn infants are derived from animal lungs, which limits supply and poses a danger of propagating infectious material. Poly-Val-->poly-Leu analogs of surfactant protein (SP)-C can be synthesized in large quantities and exhibit surface activity similar to SP-C. Here, activity of synthetic surfactants containing a poly-Leu SP-C analog (SP-C33) was evaluated in ventilated premature newborn rabbits. Treatment with 2.5 ml/kg body wt of 2%(wt/wt) SP-C33 in 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-3-glycero phosphoryl choline (DPPC)-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-3-glycero phosphoryl choline (POPC)-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-3-glycero phosphoryl glycerol ( POPG), 68: 0: 31, 68: 11: 20, or 68: 16: 15 (wt/wt/wt) suspended at 80 mg/ml gave tidal volumes (VT) of 20-25 ml/kg body wt, with an insufflation pressure of 25 cmH(2)O and no positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), comparable to the VT for animals treated with the porcine surfactant Curosurf. Nontreated littermates had a VT of similar to2 ml/kg body wt. The VT for SP-C33 in DPPC-egg phosphatidylglycerol-palmitic acid [68: 22: 9 (wt/ wt/ wt)], DPPC-POPG-palmitic acid [68: 22: 9 ( wt/ wt/ wt)], and DPPC-POPCPOPG [ 6: 2: 2 ( wt/ wt/ wt)] was 15 - 20 ml/kg body wt. Histological examination of lungs from animals treated with SP-C33-based surfactants showed incomplete, usually patchy air expansion of alveolar spaces associated with only mild airway epithelial damage. Lung gas volume after 30 min of mechanical ventilation were more than threefold larger in animals treated with Curosurf than in those receiving SP-C33 in DPPC- POPCPOPG, 68: 11: 20. This difference could be largely counterbalanced by ventilation with PEEP ( 3 - 4 cmH2O). An artificial surfactant based on SP-C33 improves VT in immature newborn animals ventilated with standardized peak pressure but requires PEEP to build up adequate lung gas volumes

Published in

Journal of Applied Physiology
2003, volume: 95, number: 5, pages: 2055-2063

Authors' information

Johansson, Jan
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Biosciences
Linderholm, B-M
Some, M
Almlén, A
Robertson, B
Curstedt, T

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)